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Nonprofit University

Master Class | Corporate Relations

This is a master-level course within Nonprofit University's
Development Institute.

When dealing with a corporation, development practitioners must know how to build partnerships across a variety of departments, and structure them to leverage a broad range of valuable corporate assets. That also means establishing sponsorships that are diverse and mutually beneficial, and applying the right tools when crafting employee giving opportunities.

Participants in our Master Class in Corporate Relations will gain that knowledge, as well as an understanding of exactly what corporations gain from these partnerships: How they help influence customer behavior and align business interests with value measurements.

Part of Nonprofit University’s Development Institute, Master Classes provide 3-to-5-month programs combining classroom-based symposiums with opportunities for the hands-on experience, insider insight, and skills training necessary to implement sound strategy and processes.

Designed for experienced development pros, Master Classes are limited to 6 participants, ensuring an immersive, intensive course of study. In addition to half- and full-day seminars, Master Class participants engage in long-term practicums, putting new knowledge into action for their organizations under the guidance of a master practitioner. Classes also offer experiences with “insider” professionals, philanthropists, and academics, providing unique insight into advanced issues regarding donors, processes, management, and more.

What You'll Learn

Learning Points, included but not limited to:

  • Understand corporate giving and corporate social responsibility (CSR) in terms of their driving forces, evolution, and current trends

  • Understand value creation for crafting requests, including how to evaluate and align with business interests

  • Make strategic appeals for corporate support, beyond financial requests.


Development professionals who have been in their field at least 3 years, and executive directors of small to mid-size nonprofits. Education advancement professionals from independent schools, higher education, or public school foundations would also benefit.


Session 1: Seminar
9am - 3pm

The opening session is a presentation on corporate giving programs.  We will look at the various ways that corporations provide support for nonprofits, why corporations give, how corporate giving has evolved over time, and the strategy of giving. Specific examples will be examined.

Session 2: Practicum 1
9am - 12pm

This session will briefly review highlights from the seminar and answer questions generated by the first session. We will discuss ideas participants have for their projects, determine project goals, plan an approach, and discuss possible obstacles or challenges.

Session 3: Living Case Study 
9am - 12pm

This session will be wholly dedicated to hearing from a for-profit company and one of its nonprofit partners. Each will explain how the partnership works from their perspective, including how it originated and grew, which parts of each organization are involved, and how they benefit from it. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and participate in a frank conversation on what makes for a good corporate-nonprofit relationship.

Session 4: Practicum 2
9am - 12pm

This session will cover additional questions participants have after reflecting on the Living Case Study session. Participants will discuss progress made in their projects, challenges, and next steps, and get feedback from both the facilitator and fellow participants.

Session 5: Practicum 3 and Conversation with Corporate Giving Manager
9am - 12pm

A guest speaker from a for-profit company will discuss their giving program and support for nonprofits, providing another corporation’s approach, and another chance to ask questions, following the deep dive of the Living Case Study. Participants will also review their progress regarding individual projects, and get a final round of feedback before project presentations.

Session 6: Project Presentations
9am - 12pm

This session is dedicated to the participants’ presentations of their project. Note that depending on the project selected, it may or may not have come to a conclusion: Projects should be selected to meet the needs of their organization and not based solely on what can be completed within the course’s time frame. If a project goes beyond the course time frame, then the presentation should clearly present next steps and the plan for completion. It should also have some interim deliverables that can be presented. At the conclusion of the presentations, we will answer any remaining questions and discuss ideas for improvement.


M. Catherine (Cathy) Ramos

Cathy Ramos has a passion for helping others as a teacher, community leader and volunteer.  Most recently, Cathy managed a major portfolio of grants at The Coca-Cola Company, including educational institutions, women's organizations, and philanthropic service organizations, as well as multiple corporate sponsorship relationships. Cathy has also been a keynote speaker at a national conference of contributions professionals, and spoken frequently at regional conferences and fundraisers. During her tenure at Coca-Cola, she managed the company's United Way campaigns, helping the company consistently exceed its annual goals. She managed the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program, a nationally acclaimed drop-out prevention program, developed in partnership with Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA).

Prior to her work in community affairs and philanthropy, Cathy worked for many years in education, in both corporate training and public schools. She is an active community volunteer, currently serving on the Advisory Board of the Foundation Center in Atlanta and as Chair, Board of Governors, St. John Children’s Center in Sandy Springs. 

Read Cathy's complete bio.


  • TBD


Georgia Center for Nonprofits
100 Peachtree Street, Suite 1500
Atlanta, GA 30303

Registration Details

GCN Member: $750
Nonmember: $950


Due to the intensive hands-on, experiential nature of this course, it is only open to six participants at a time to ensure the highest-quality experience. 

To learn more about the Development Institute,
contact Nonprofit University at (678) 916-3081 or [email protected].


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